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Our New Bikes!

We got bikes so we can go further (and faster) playing Pokemon GO, while still getting exercise. When we walk, we tend to walk slow, and aren't able to get very far. When we drive, we can go further for longer, but we're not exercising. Bicycling seems to be the best of both worlds: faster travel plus exercise. We're going to have to work our way up to extended rides, though!

Bike: Mongoose Dolomite Fat Boys Cruiser Bike

Handlebar Grips: Ergon GP1 BioKork Rohloff/Nexus Grips

Headlight & Tail Light: Bright Eyes LED Bike Light Set

Phone Mount: Taotronics Cradle Clamp Bike Mount

Bell: Origin8 Time Clock Bell [not shown, arriving tomorrow]

Blue LED String: RTGS Micro LED String

Seat: Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle

Bottle Cage: Dimples Excel Water Bottle Cage

Blue Tape: Planet Bike Comfort GEL Handlebar Tape

Pedals: Lumintrail Platform Pedals

Tire Valve Stem Caps: PlayOn! LED Valve Cap Stem Lights

Tire Sealant: Slime

First 20-minute test drive, initial impressions + Updates after second (40-ish minute) ride notated:

  • The seat isn't as plush as we thought it would be. It's certainly more comfortable than the default seat, but it's pretty darn firm. Our butts are probably going to be sore until we get used to them. (UPDATE: Yep.)

  • The Bike
    • I wish I'd been able to find the 20-inch version of the Fat Tire bike before I ordered two of the 26-inch version (one for each Buu and I). Unfortunately I was looking at Amazon via my phone at the time, and the suggested products aren't as easy to browse through while mobile. The bike is a smidge too tall for me - when standing still, the cross bar is right at my crotch. It's not a deal killer, but I would probably have been more comfortable with the Mongoose Kong over the Dolomite. Still, I think it's cool that our bikes match. :]
    • The Dolomite has disk brakes instead of the usual tire-clamp style brakes. Both of the rotors on Buu's bike are very slightly bent, so the brake pads rub against the rotor during part of its rotation. The front brakes on my bike are very tight. In fact, when we first pulled the bike out of the box, one of the brake pads was rotated out of alignment so both pads were jammed against each other and we couldn't fit the rotor in at all. When we realized this, we rotated the pad around to seat it properly, which made enough space that the rotor could be fit in. However the pads still rub on the entire rotor all the time. This will not only wear the pads prematurely, but it means I have to pedal that much harder to keep the bike moving. I'm hoping the pads wear down enough to stop rubbing on the rotor soon.
    • The bike didn't come with any of the necessary tools needed to assemble. While I don't expect complex tools to be included, we did need two different sizes of allen wrench. Luckily I just keep every allen wrench I get with anything I buy, so we had the sizes we needed, but that was indeed lucky.
    • My bike was also missing one of the valve stem covers. Since I needed to buy a replacement anyway, I went ahead and got the LED lighted versions.

  • Headlight
    • The flashlight in the headlight clamp is inserted from the front. This means if you have your clamp pointed slightly downward (so you can conceivably see the ground ahead of you), the light will slide out. I've remedied this by sticking the loop/strap into the mount along with the flashlight, so it's jammed in there a little more tightly.
    • The headlight clamp also needs to tighten down more, as both Buu and I noticed it slipping down and pointing more and more at the ground. We'll see if it can actually be tightened enough to stay put.
    • (UPDATE) It's impossible to tighten down the headlights enough to make them stay put. Perhaps our handlebars are small, as they appear to only be 20mm in diameter, and it seems that 21-26 is more common. I've moved my headlight over so the clamp can rest on my brake handle, so it can't point any further downward. Seems to work. (/UPDATE)

  • We also apparently didn't tighten Buu's handlebar grips enough, as he found them twisting and even coming off! Will remedy that today. My grips stayed put like champs. They're also very comfortable; we're quite pleased with them. (UPDATE: Remedied, no problems.)

  • The Bag
    • My bag twisted and was sideways for part of the ride, but I twisted it back up and it stayed put after that. Buu's didn't move, so maybe my straps aren't tight enough? Seems to be a theme. (UPDATE: Turns out it's mostly from my knee hitting the bag. If I don't do that, the bag stays put.)
    • Speaking of the bag, it's just big enough to hold the battery box for the LED lights, and our Moko Power Pack. I was able to fit a chapstick and my driver's license in there too, but there's definitely not enough room for, say, another phone. So I need to order a second phone mount for my work phone. I need to be available if we take a lunchtime ride, and it's also useful to have Google Maps up while Pokemon GO is on my personal phone if we're riding around after work hours.

  • The valve stem lights seem to work.. at random? I opened them up and took out the paper that was blocking the battery connection. I screwed them back together and they immediately started lighting up. Then we screwed them into the valve stems and they no longer came on. We tried spinning the tires, bouncing the tires, and flicking the lights themselves. The lights stayed off. We loosened the casing a bit and they'd come on. Then they wouldn't. Buu's lights came on a few times while the bike was sitting perfectly still, in our kitchen. It was too bright outside to tell if the lights were working while we rode the bikes, so we'll have to check that again when we ride in the evening. (UPDATE: Still very random.)

  • Our phones were held very securely by the phone mounts, though the clamps seem to be fairly loose on the handlebars. We were able to move the clamp around a little too easily, so again, we'll have to see if they can be tightened down.

  • The Pedals
    • The pedals were an excellent buy! Much easier to move the bike, and our feet seem to stay on the pedals really well (good grip). The only complaint we have is that we forgot that there's a specific left and right pedal, so we spent 5-10 minutes trying in vain to screw a pedal into the wrong side. Technically the pedals are labeled, but not with bright stickers (as the default pedals were). The "label" is just carved into the (black) end cap, and is very hard to see. Once Buu remembered that there are right- and left-specific pedals, they installed fine.
    • As a note: pedals come in half-inch and 9/16s inch spindles. According to what I can find via Google, you will only use the half-inch spindle pedals on bikes where both crank shafts and the piece between them are all once piece. You only really see this on cheap or kid's bikes. Three-piece crank sets will use 9/16s inch spindles. (This image should help illustrate.)

  • We're going to have to work our way up to riding all the way down to the waterfront neighborhood where we want to catch Pokemon (a 15-20 minute ride in and of itself), and then be riding around that neighborhood for a couple of hours. Just 20 minutes around our neighborhood had us ready to take a break. Of course, the extreme heat may have something to do about that, which is why we largely plan to ride in the early mornings and/or evenings.

  • Overall we're really happy with these bikes and the accessories we ordered. The above items seem like gripes, but really all of this is pretty minor. We will tighten everything down and give a bigger shakedown when it's less than 90 degrees outside. *looks at weather forecast* ... Oh.

  • (UPDATE) Riding the bikes in the evening was definitely a far more pleasant experience than at 1:30pm. While we still got sweaty, we weren't absolutely dripping. We still carried towels with us so we could stop and wipe our brow as we re-hydrated. I did go ahead and order some sweat bands for Buu and I though, in Royal Blue for him, and Lake Blue for me. We won't need them in the evenings, but if and when we ride during the day, they'll be absolutely necessary. (/UPDATE)

We're waiting for the bell to arrive, which should be tomorrow. However, this photo shows the storage bag, handlebar grips, cell phone mount, and headlight:

Here you can see the handlebar tape we put around the front forks, LED lights, water bottle mount, seat, tail light, and pedals:

We hope all the lighting will get the attention of drivers once it starts getting dark!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2016 03:24 am (UTC)
Jul. 29th, 2016 04:01 am (UTC)
Thanks! ^_^
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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